NFL owners gathered in the Dallas area earlier this week for their annual Spring Meeting and several important topics were discussed, including the site of the 2014 Super Bowl, new overtime rules and collective bargaining issues. It all brought about headlines on Tuesday and early today, so let’s briefly address them here.
First off, the biggest news from Tuesday was that NFL owners voted to put the 2014 Super Bowl in the new $1.6 billion Meadowlands Stadium that this season will become home to the NY Giants and NY Jets. The news is notable because it’s the first time the league has gone to a cold-weather site that doesn’t have a dome.
There’s no doubt about the risk involved with playing a Super Bowl in a cold-weather city such as New York. According to NFL.com, the coldest kickoff temperature in Super Bowl history was 39 degrees. In East Rutherford, N.J., where the Giants and Jets new stadium will reside, average February temperatures range from 24 to 40 degrees, not to mention the chance for precipitation and also the fact that the game will be played after the sun sets (which will drop temperatures further).
With that risk, though, comes potential reward. The NFL is known as a league that refuses to stand still and is always trying to find ways to improve its product. Trying out the idea of a Super Bowl in a cold-weather city is another example of the NFL’s fearless philosophy and it has every bit the chance of being a smashing success as it does of being a Super disappointment.
Perhaps the second biggest development from the 2 days of owners meetings in the Dallas area was that the new overtime rule for the postseason will not be applied to regular season games. The discussion to make that move was tabled and will be addressed at a later time because the Commissioner and team owners want to discuss the idea with players before making a final decision.
The new rule, you’ll remember, says that a team that loses the coin toss and immediately gives up a FG will have a chance to either tie or win the game. In the regular season format, the overtime structure remains as a true sudden death scenario.
Other issues the owners discussed included talks on the on-going CBA negotiations; the current deal expires after the 2010 season. Part of a new CBA could include a provision that allows the NFL to test for human growth hormone (HGH). Also, there’s talk of expanding the regular season to 18 games and possibly eliminating 2 preseason games.
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